Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lesson 99: I got 99 Problems but a Horse Ain't One

I don't like to use controversial phrases as titles but let's take it literally in this instance. I'm sure that I'm not the only one who has what seems like a bazillion other problems or difficulties I contend with regularly. But, I'm glad that the horse I ride isn't one of them. But then again, that depends on your perspective ;)

We had Sunday's lesson indoors with the big door wide open so the horses were being tempted with running straight out into the outdoor ring or their paddocks. I don't know if Sheri did that to add a distraction for our horses and thus, to really test our control. It was a good test though... because the first few times Ariel wanted to go running straight out that door and she'd speed up towards it and actually slow down when we were going the opposite direction. What a pain that mare can be! :P

We started with lots of trot exercises... collected working trot and lengthened trot. Ariel hates lengthened trot... literally, it was as if nothing at all changed when I pushed her to do the lengthened trot. Sheri reminds us that while we squeeze them onwards, we had to be careful not to let them break into a canter and to just lengthen their stride; breaking into the canter would be a "release" for them because the lengthening requires more work, of them. I love that Ariel is coming along so well because when things are right on my end, she frames!

During the trot exercises, we are asked to change from posting to sitting trot... and to calmly sit the trot without disturbing the horses' pace. Sit up and breathe, we're reminded. I do notice that my thigh contact is way better than it used to be and my lower back is loosened some where I can comfortably ride that trot for extended periods. And, as I've noticed before, Ariel's always been able to trot just fine (:P) but when I do things correctly, she also comes together and does them as she's supposed to. The only thing is my wacky left arm and wrist is not always under control so I need to take more notice.

Sheri says that the first part of our lesson was focused primarily on stretching and lengthening the horses from front to back. Next, we move to lateral movements from side to side. We work on leg yields. It's a good exercise to make the horse more flexible (particularly their shoulders) and it is helpful in practical terms. This is a tricky exercise because it depends on the horse's experience with that sort of movement.

Although Ariel complains about it a bit at the end, she and I manage to get a few correct steps of the leg yielding with the correct bend and I'm really pleased with what she's able to accomplish because I've been told she loves to jump but isn't a huge fan of these types of suppling exercises. Despite that, she does wonderfully and I'm very happy because I think we could have done more once I get the feel of knowing when to counter with my outside leg so I can keep her straight.

Posting Diagonal Jar Tally = 3 x $2.00 = $6.00
To date = $201.00

No comments:

Post a Comment